School transport cuts revealed

by Emily DUNBAR on December 2, 2011

Nearly three in four councils in England are either reviewing or have started making cuts to current school transport, as alleged by newly released figures.

The data is relative to 81 English education authorities away from London, as well as six of the biggest metropolitan boroughs in England. The data was obtained through a Freedom of Information request, which was made by CBT - the Campaign for Better Transport.

The organisation said that 38 per cent of councils are reviewing or making cuts to transport to religious schools; 46 per cent are reviewing or making cuts to transport to other schools and 51 per cent are reviewing or making cuts to post-16 transport. All in all, 72 per cent are reviewing or making cuts to one or more parts of school transport.

According to the CBT, councils are obliged to put free school transport on for pupils aged between five and 16 in the event that their local school is over three miles away. If a student is under eight years old, they need only live two miles away from their school in order to receive free public transport.

Sophie Allen, the CBT’s bus campaigner, commented that school buses are vital if pollution and congestion are to be reduced - especially at peak times. She added that, in some parts of the country, parents might have to walk three miles in each direction, twice daily, just to make sure their children can get to and from school safely.

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